When buying souvenirs or food gifts to bring back from a trip, you probably think about what your loved ones will like best or which items will be the most memorable. But selecting the wrong type of gift could pose potential danger to U.S. agriculture, especially when bringing back food items.
You may think about this potential when traveling to exotic countries like Morocco, Brazil, or China, but how about on your family road trip to Niagara Falls, Canada? Even though Canada is just across the northern border, some food or agriculture souvenirs you buy there may not be allowed into the United States when you return. To prevent the introduction of unwanted plant and animal pests and diseases, there are certain fruits, vegetables, plants, cut flowers, seeds, meats, poultry, seafood, milk, dairy, and egg products that are prohibited entry into the United States. Plan ahead so you know what’s allowed and what’s not.
And that’s where the United States Department of Agriculture comes in! We want to help keep your specially selected Canadian souvenirs from being denied entry and avoid needless frustration at the border.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hosts a traveler website where you can find details on which agricultural items you can and cannot bring back into the United States from other countries. We just expanded our site to include new pages specific to travelers crossing from Canada into the United States at a land border. This information has been added to the Plants and Plant Products, Fruits and Vegetables, Meat and Dairy pages. We also list contact information in case you need to talk to someone.
Don’t forget to declare all agricultural products on the Customs Declaration Form when traveling back into the United States. You can find out more information on how to declare items by visiting the How to Declare Agricultural Items page.
We wish you safe travels, wherever your trip takes you. Help us ensure that U.S. agriculture stays safe too!